Displaying items by tag: Fiji
‘Machine guns and fighter jets are not our primary security concern. The single greatest threat to our very existence is climate change, not military tensions’, Fiji defence minister Inia Seruiratu told delegates at the Asian security summit in Singapore, which up to that point had focused on China-US tensions and the Ukraine war. He told delegates, ‘Cyclones have repeatedly battered Fiji and other low-lying Pacific countries. Climate change threatens our very hopes and dreams of prosperity. Waves are crashing at our doorsteps, winds are battering our homes, we are being assaulted by this enemy from many angles.’ In recent years human-induced devastating climate change has displaced thousands of people who have been inundated by floods. Floods and cyclones have also wrought economic havoc, and Pacific states have urged advanced industrialised nations to do more to combat climate change. The world is now 1.2C warmer than it was in the 19th century - mainly because of burning fossil fuels which release greenhouse gases.
Cyclone Harold, a category 5 cyclone, hit the Pacific nation of Vanuatu on 6 and 7 April, ripping off roofs and downing telecommunications across large parts of the north and west of the country as it tries to fight the coronavirus outbreak. There have been hurricane-force winds, heavy rainfall, flash flooding, properties flattened, and trees torn down. Luganville, with a population of 16,000, was ravaged. Communications to Vanuatu’s two largest islands are cut. Vanuatu is in a state of emergency, with borders closed to international arrivals, a curfew, and gatherings of more than five people banned. Some restrictions were lifted to allow people to gather at mass evacuation centres (see) On 8 April Harold flattened homes and flooded towns in Fiji. Emergency officials are scrambling to establish communication with outlying islands. Harold killed dozens in the Solomon Islands before destroying Vanuatu, and is expected to hit Tonga within days.